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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  June 4, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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starting right now on "this week" with george stephanopoulos. [ sirens ] terror in london. >> keep moving! keep moving! >> a van slamming into pedestrians on london bridge. multiple stabbings. seven dead. dozens more injured. three suspects killed at the scene. >> people running, screaming. >> the latest on this deadly attack from terry moran in london. and our exclusive interview with former national security adviser, susan rice. plus, showdown. just four days until the blockbuster hearing. james comey going public on capitol hill. >> we will follow the facts wherever they lead. >> did the president pressure him over the russian investigation? and, will the white house use executive privilege to stop him from telling all?
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jonathan karl and dan abrams standing by with the latest reporting. and -- >> i was elected to represent the citizens of pittsburgh, not paris. >> the global backlash after trump pulls out of the paris climate accord. the head of the epa, and al gore, both here live. from abc news, it's "this week." here now, chief anchor george stephanopoulos. good morning. it has happened again. for the third time in three months, terrorists have struck at america's closest ally, great britain. this time, on a cool saturday night in london. an attack that was crude, deadly, virtually impossible to stop. first, three attackers in a white van mowed down scores of walkers on the london bridge. then, wearing fake explosive vests, they set out on a stabbing spree at the borough
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market nearby, killed at least 7, injuring 48. the killers have not been identified. this comes on the heels of the isis-inspired suicide bombing in manchester less than two weeks ago. just ahead of the memorial concert taking place later today. in her first response, british prime minister theresa may, defiant. >> but it is time to say enough is enough. everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. as a country, our response must be as it has always been, when we have been confronted by violence. we must come together. we must pull together. and united, we will take on and defeat our enemies. >> strong words there from the prime minister. our chief foreign correspondent terry moran on the scene in london. good morning, terry. we heard the prime minister saying life must go on. but she is also saying things are going to have to change. >> reporter: she is, george. that's absolutely right. even while we're seeing forensic evidence technicians and police activities behind us, still
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about a block away from the scene of the attack here, the prime minister is trying to address not just the shock and the sorrow of her people, but the increasing frustration and even anger over the last series of attacks. perhaps the most striking thing she said, things must change. she's talking about the law. enhanced resources for security services. to monitor the thousands of people who have fallen into the category of suspected extremism. she's talking about enhanced penalties. sentences for terrorism offenses and even lesser offenses of suspected extremism. international agreements to regulate cyberspace. to reduce what she calls the safe spaces for ideology. what she's doing is hearing that people can only deal with so much of that shock and sorrow. they want action. >> they have not yet released the names of the attackers. and again as we said, no claim of responsibility, but london police have arrested 12 this morning? >> reporter: that's right. in the suburb of barking. a raid and 12 arrests.
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that shows that they have -- it seems, identified the attackers and arrested people they think are connected with this attack. we saw the same thing in manchester 12 days ago. after the attack on the ariana grande concert. a series of arrests. almost as if the police, for all of the effort, and it's a tremendous effort that the british government puts to keeping people safe here. they're missing cells of people ready and willing to attack. >> one more sign of that defiance you talked about. that concert, ariana grande concert, going forward tonight. >> reporter: that's right. it can't be underestimated. the british people, londoners, in particular, they have a heritage and a history here of dealing with violence, going back to the i.r.a. and world war ii. it's the stiff upper lip. it's a bit of a caricature. but it's not a myth. there is an effort here not to freak out, to keep calm and carry on. there was a saying in world war
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ii, london can take it. you see people going about their business here. they're determined to get on top of this problem, not let it change what is one of the world's great cities. >> terry moran, thank you very much. president trump has been tweeting about the attacks. one of the first ones, we need to be smart, vigilant and tough. we need the courts to give us back our rights. we need the travel ban as an extra level as safety. this morning, do you notice we're not having a gun debate right now? that's because they used knives and a truck. at least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and mayor of london says there's, quote, no reason to be alarmed. we're joined by susan rice who served as national security adviser and u.n. ambassador under president obama. ambassador rice, thank you for joining us this morning. to pick up on the president's last tweet right there, how alarmed should we be? >> well, george, unfortunately, this is something that the people of the united kingdom have suffered now three times in the last three months. and it's important to begin by
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expressing our condolences and to say that our thoughts and prayers go out, yet again, to the people of london and the united kingdom. clearly the terrorist threat is one we have been dealing with for many, many years, both in europe and the middle east, and of course, in the united states. what is important in these times is to remain unified. to be vigilant. and to recognize that this is a long-term challenge to stamp out the threat of terrorism. we're battling isis in syria and iraq. al qaeda and isis in afghanistan. we see elements of terrorist threats in all parts of the world. from ever ka -- africa to the middle east to southeast asia. we need to remain very focused on dealing with that threat. but at the same time, we need to recognize that there will be homegrown extremists in all of our countries. there is no easy way to predict and defeat every single one of
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them. and so we have to strengthen our intelligence, our law enforcement and work together with critical partners like the united kingdom. >> you heard the president say the travel ban would bring an extra level of safety. your response? >> well, george, there's no evidence to suggest that by banning muslims or banning muslims from a particular set of six countries that we would make ourselves here in the united states safer. that's, i believe, one of the major reasons why the courts thus far have been very skeptical of the travel ban. moreover, i think there's a very real risk that by stigmatizing and isolating muslims from particular countries and muslims in general that we alienate the very communities here in the united states whose cooperation we most need to detect and prevent these homegrown extremists from being able to carry out the attacks. we need the cooperation of our muslim-american communities.
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we need the cooperation of all americans. they need to feel that they're valued and part of this challenge that we face together as nation. by stigmatizing a subset of ourselves, or a subset even or foreigners, we make that much more difficult. it's counterproductive. >> in the wake of the manchester attack two weeks ago, britain was very upset with leaks from the american side. the president is upset with leaks from the intelligence community generally. how serious a breach is this? how much is it going to hurt cooperation with great britain? what can be done about it? >> these leaks are very concerning. we are able to work so closely and effectively with partners like the united kingdom because they trust us and we trust them. and we're able to share for the most part, without concern, that leaks will find their way into the public domain at a time that compromises the investigation, or our shared ability to go after the threat. this is very concerning. i think prime minister may is correct to express concern to
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the president. the president is correct to express his outrage at this. it is incumbent on the administration as well as state and local law enforcement to hold carefully and closely confidential information. >> more broadly on the president's foreign policy, you had a tough critique in "the new york times" yesterday. one of the things you wrote is that russia has been a big winner under president trump. how so? >> well, george, the united states has been the leader of the world because the world trusts and respects us. because we have an unprecedented network of alliances with close partners that work with us, whether it's to defeat isis, to deal with a threat of an iranian nuclear weapon, or to go after challenges of a new sort like pandemic disease or climate change. we need these partners. when we alienate our western allies, in particular when the
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president went to nato and failed to reaffirm, as every president has since 1948, that we're committed and remain committed to the defense of our nato partners, he sent shock waves through europe and that -- is exactly what vladimir putin wants. because putin's interests, as he just reaffirmed on friday, is to see nato weakened and ultimately destroyed. and when the united states, the most important player in nato, casts doubt about our commitment to that vital alliance, it undermines our security. it undermines the security of our closest allies. it's a big win for vladimir putin. >> on friday, president putin continue to deny that his government interfered in our elections. he said it might have been by patriotic russians. is that as close as we're going to get to an admission of guilt from president putin? >> i don't know what we'll hear. from president putin, george, but frankly, he is lying. the reality is, as all of our intelligence agencies have come
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together to affirm with high confidence, the russian government, at the highest levels, was behind the very unprecedented effort to meddle in our 2016 presidential election. we need to understand exactly how and why that happened and whether or not there's any evidence to suggest that there were those on the american side who facilitated that. >> with the benefit of hindsight, should president obama and your team have done more earlier to blow the whistle on this russian interference earlier in the campaign? >> we did blow the whistle as soon as we had a unified assessment from the intelligence agencies about the russian role. and on october 7th, the director of national intelligence, with the secretary of homeland security put out an unprecedented statement, very, very plain saying, to the american people, this interference is happening. and it's happening at the direction of the highest levels of the russian government. i think what's unfortunate is
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that that very important warning got lost in the coverage of other events that transpired. it was indeed later the very same day that the "access hollywood" video tape came out. more wikileaks came out. and so, i think that it didn't get the attention that it deserved. but, we worked also very closely with our 50 states to ensure that they were aware of the threat and took all the necessary precautions to protect the integrity of our voting system and our voter registration rolls. i think we did what we needed to do. and i'll -- i think it's regrettable that other issues clouded the focus on that very important statement. >> after the election, president obama also sanctioned the russians. took back those compounds in maryland and long island. some talk now that the state department of the trump administration considering reversing that. good idea?
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>> no, george, not a good idea. let's be clear. russia is an adversary. russia not only has invaded a sovereign country and annexed part of it in ukraine and crimea. it's not only in cahoots with a regime in syria that uses chemical weapons. it has interfered directly and deliberately at the direction of the highest levels of its government in our democratic process. that is a threat to the integrity of our democracy. that's a threat to our country on a bipartisan basis. we need to hold russia accountable. president obama rightly imposed strong sanctions in december for the election meddling. those sanctions should remain. because russia hasn't changed its behavior. it's just denied and obfuscated and continued to behave badly. there is no reason to ease the sanctions. i think it's time to consider strengthening sanctions. >> would it have been
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appropriate for jared kushner to have a back channel during the transition? your successor, general mcmaster, has suggested there is nothing wrong with it. >> well, george, i think these reports, if accurate, are concerning. not just because of communication between the trump transition and the russian government. and we do have communications between transition teams and foreign governments. rarely with adversaries like the russians. rarely with the frequency we have seen. but what i found most concerning about that report, which if true, is that jared kushner suggested to the russian ambassador that they communicate using russian communications in a russian diplomatic facility to hide their conversation from the united states government. that's extraordinary. if not, mind-boggling. from the point of view of a national security professional.
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i have worked in this field for 25 years. and i have never heard of such a thing. the united states and from one administration to the next, has one government, one president at a time. and we worked very hard to do a professional and effective handoff. a seamless one. we worked very hard in this transition to accomplish that. and, to do so transparently. and that's the hallmark of what makes our democratic system resilient and our ability to endure as a leader and a democratic icon for the world. >> finally, the chairman of the house intelligence community devin nunez, subpoenaed the cia, nsa and fbi for any requests you may have made. do you have objections for them to comply with the subpoena? and what will the committee learn if they do? >> i don't have any objection to the agencies being responsive to
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congressional oversight. that's what they're expected to do. this, i think, is a question now, between the house intelligence committee and the agencies. i think what is unfortunate is that it appears that this request or this subpoena rather, was issued on a unilateral basis, by the chairman, not on a bipartisan basis. and i think, george, at this stage, with our democracy being challenged and threatened directly by a foreign adversary, it points up the critical importance now more than ever, of our working on a by partisan basis and our protecting and advancing our national security interests on a bipartisan basis, so i hope that going forward, that can be the case. >> you're confident those documents will show you did nothing wrong? >> i'm confident that they show that i, like national security advisers before me and other senior officials in positions of responsibility, whether at the state department, the defense department, or at the
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intelligence community, were doing what we needed to do to do our jobs, which was to protect the american people. to protect classified information. to protect civil liberties, that's what those documents will show. >> thank you for your time this morning. >> good to be with you, george. more on this investigation now, and that looming showdown on capitol hill. former fbi director, james comey, speaks out for the first time since president obama fired him last month. right after the president fired him, the president told the russian foreign minister that firing comey took the pressure off. that pressure will be back on thursday morning when comey is front and center at the senate intelligence committee telling his side of the story. about that january dinner with trump. where sources say the president asked comey if he was under investigation, and pressed for a pledge of personal loyalty. trump denies that loyalty, but what will comey say in public under oath? we also know that during an oval office meeting in february, trump told his attorney general and vice president to leave the room before discussing the russia investigation. according to a memo comey wrote
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right after the meeting, he says trump asked him to lessen the investigation of michael flynn. he wrote trump said, i hope you can let this go. on thursday, comey will talk about that. on the day he fired comey, the president wrote that comey said three times he's not under investigation. will comey testify that the president is not telling the truth? we dig into all this now with our jon karl, and dan abrams. jon, let me begin with you right now. looming over this whole thing is whether or not the president and his team will try to prevent comey and his team from testifying by invoking executive privilege. >> reporter: i have talked to several top aides saying there is no plan to do that. they believe it would be a tough case to make legally. and politically, it could be a disaster. that said, there's though telling if the president will decide he wants to make that fight later on. right now, the -- the opinion inside the west wing is that comey will testify. they'll not try to stop it. >> what is the white house strategy for taking on what is going to be certainly blo
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blockbuster testimony on every network? >> it certainly will be blockbuster testimony on every netwo network. there is clearly a sense of that here at the white house. but, george, for all of the talk of setting up a big war room in the west wing to deal with this, none of that has been put in place whatsoever. you saw corey lewandowski and david bossie, veterans of the campaign, have been here at the white house. i'm told neither one of them are anywhere near to coming in. they are unlikely, in fact, to come in any time soon. there isn't much of a structure in place to have rapid response to comey. i think what you're going to see is an effort to deflect. you're seeing that in the president's response to the london terror attacks. they'll talk about infrastructure week this week. about reviving his plan for an infrastructure bill. and there is some discussion, george, among the president's aides about possibly taking a trip to london at the end of the week to show solidarity with the people of london against terrorism. that's just in the infancy stage. there's discussion among the president's aides. >> we're likely to see comey's memos.
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any talk of whatever happened if there are indeed those tapes the president suggested he had of conversations with comey? >> no indication that those tapes even exist, george. we know that comey's memos exist. we know that comey in realtime, wrote those memos to talk about what the discussions were with the president, but there is no indicati indication, outside of the tweets from the president several weeks ago, that there are any tapes. george, we also know that comey is described by people close to him as angry about the way the president characterized their conversations. again, another indication of just how blockbuster this testimony could be. >> thank you, jon. now to dan abrams, our chief legal analyst. the white house seems to be bowing to reality. according to jon's reporting right there. any claim of executive privilege here very weak. >> very weak. the purpose is to protect confidential communications between the president and typically his cabinet. he's got three problems here on this argument. number one, the u.s. supreme
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court in the nixon case made it clear you cannot use executive privilege to try to cover up alleged misconduct. there would be an argument here if that was the reason for it. number two, is the argument of waiver. it's no longer a confidential communication when the president tweets about it, talks about it in interviews, and as a result, you can't invoke that privilege anymore. number three is that comey is no longer an employee. if he were still working for the government, president trump could instruct him not to testify. he could say, i'm not allowing you to testify. he doesn't have that authority or power over james comey anymore. as a result of those three reasons, it would be a really weak legal argument to try to invoke. >> some of the reporting on the meetings comey had with the president sounds ominous on its face. i hope you'll let him go on general flynn. that has led some allies to the president so say if comey really
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thought the president was doing something wrong, he should have resigned at the time. >> let's distinguish between instructing him to end the investigation and encouraging him to end the investigation. if the president had instructed james comey to end the investigation, it would be a valid argument. how could he continue? he's being instructed by the president of the united states to end an investigation. how can he in good faith continue working for this man? that is very different than the president encouraging him. comey's position will be, he encouraged me. i felt like i could continue the investigation. i ignored those remarks. i moved forward. everything changes when comey is fired. because before comey's fired, comey's position is, yeah. he made these comments to me. i listened. i heard them, and i moved on with my investigation. >> does the fact that the special counsel, mueller, is allowing comey to testify suggest that mueller is not looking at obstruction? >> no, not at all. i mean, you have to remember.
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this is two separate tracts. the congressional investigation and mueller's investigation. and i think that what they're recognizing here is that just because mueller is investigating, that doesn't mean comey can't discuss publicly anything about this. but he'll not discuss the details of the russian investigation. he'll not discuss conclusions that his agents had drawn. et cetera. i think he'll keep it pretty focused on exactly what it is that the president said to him. that's what the president has been talking about publicly. comey's position will be, he talked about it publicly. i'm going to, too. >> that will be a lot. dan abrams, thank you. up next, "the roundtable." they weigh in on comey and more. and later, the president's break from the paris climate accord. scott pruitt and al gore join us live. when this bell rings... starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world.
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back now with "the roundtable." joined by abc news contributor alex castellanos. jen psaki. former obama communications director, now with cnn. first appearance on "this week."
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welcome. >> thank you. >> jonah goldberg and katrina vanden heuvel. editor and publisher of "the nation." how big of a threat to the administration is this testimony this week? what should they do about it? >> i think there's more evidence that james comey colluded with the russians than the trump campaign, so far. he's the one who acted on -- acted on -- >> go on. >> acted on what he knew to be fake russian intelligence. i think this is going to be a big dustup for the trump administration. once again. and what does it do? it distracts from anything they try the accomplish. but as far as real evidence of any collusion on the campaign's part, we have yet to see any. >> so what do they do about it? >> in their unique and inimitable style, nothing. chaos. there is no war room, as jonathan karl said.
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they take a beating. the trump administration seems to run a very small family business. not a large u.s. government. and it makes it very difficult to deal with ordinarily what would be small political threats. >> jen, you have been a white house communications director. is there anything they can do? >> this is a week where this is a big moment. democrats have to live up to that. or comey will have to live up to that in some ways. i don't think there's a lot they can do. they can try to change the subject. people will pay very close attention to what comey says. this is the first time he's testifying since he was fired. he could come very close to the line of giving more information out there about the obstruction of justice. not a lot they can do. >> he can't really comment on the -- >> not on the underlying investigation. >> he can conclude. >> so, of course we need an independent investigation into alleged russian hacking and collusion. >> alleged? >> we have a special counsel now. which is there. any president cannot be happy to have a special counsel four months into his presidency. i think democrats are making a mistake going in russia, russia, russia all the time. for two reasons.
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one, you're distracting from donald trump and the republicans' mean-spirited, predatory agenda. tax cuts for the richest. hurting the working class. building up a military defense budget. squandering diplomacy. and deregulating the economy for the sake of the richest. i think democrats have to have a bold, inclusive, populist agenda. get it out into the country. fight on health care. jobs. fight on a different engagement with the world. make sure that the climate issue is to be understood about economics but shafting working people. don't let this overtake it. that's about a party of one that needs to be about proposition. not simply opposition. resistance is not enough. building political power will demand something. >> i interviewed kellyanne conway on friday. her initial take was to attack james comey. risk there? >> i think there is anonymous
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risk there. i don't want to invoke too much social science. this is a remarkably stupid time to be alive. and, everything in washington. >> as if we have a choice. >> i know. everything in washington is a hot mess right now. i think that, you know, the fact that the trump white house couldn't give anybody to come on here and talk about terrorism is a sign of the disarray that they're in. so their actual attack mode, i think, all it does is please the people who are already in donald trump's column. if it's a contest between james comey's credibility and donald trump's credibility, i think comey's brand wins that, you know, 10 out of 10 times. what i can't figure out for the life of me is why this white house doesn't want to try to figure out how to persuade people who are not already persuaded. instead, it's constantly a base strategy. >> that is the big question, alex. you see the president's tweets. and even on the paris climate change decision this week, hardening up their base. locking in with their base.
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not much broadening over the first four months. >> no. ordinarily, you would think that would be the republican party's job to try to reach across the middle. but there is no republican party. there is no republican leader. >> trump smashed it. >> he crushed it. there is no democratic party. trump is such a polarizing figure that i don't know that he can reach across the middle in any way. there's an opportunity for somebody to say, hey, let's talk about growth. let's talk about what is over the horizon in this country. there is something better. where is that part of let's make america great again? we're not seeing that. >> the ship has sailed on cooperation with the democrats and the trump administration? >> i think the democrats have their backs up. because they feel that trump has not reached out to them. he hasn't made any effort to include them on health care and on my different issues. climate change could have been an interesting moment for trump. he's had a mixed record on this over the past. the fact is as a business guy, he could have gone out there and
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said, i'm going to level with the american public. i'm going to truth-tell. this is where growth is and where the opportunity is. democrats would have probably embraced that. he didn't do that. he went to the base. a very small political base. democrats' backs are up. progressives are excited out there. it will take a lot to get them back to the table. >> i think we're going to see, donald trump goes out to the world that's become this competitive, transactional realism. he's opened the door for europe to lead on its own. in this country, cities are rising. majors, governors, business figures are going to take it into their hands to drive this country into the future. and to do so -- to do so by investing in jobs. trump, as you know, what did he say when he announced his climate withdrawal? he said i'm standing with the people of pittsburgh but not france. the mayor of pittsburgh, same
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day, executive order to comply with the paris agreement. and pittsburgh will be the first city in this country to power itself on -- >> i thought it was fine for trump to get out of the paris accord. i thought he did it for weird, wrong reasons. >> why should he have done it? >> first of all, the idea that somehow this is a really vital, important agreement that virtually every country in the world agrees with and all big businesses agree with suggests it's not that onerous or binding. and hen he said -- >> it's entirely voluntary. >> that's the point. he says it costs us money. it's this huge drag on the economy. in reality, it's not. it doesn't do very much. this idea that somehow america's global leadership is put at risk because of this strikes me as some what ridiculous. we're the only country in the world that can project force. we're the largest economy in the world. there's a terror attack, when there's -- russia invades
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ukraine, the world is not going to stop looking to us because of the paris accord. >> the president defied the advice of his secretary of state, his national security advisor, his secretary of defense, and apparently his daughter, as well. >> and a lot of republicans will be happy about it. they see this as an eco swindle. an eco scam. they see it as a toothless agreement. that did nothing for climate and while at the same time, did impose real costs on the united states. they see this as a battle between nationalism and nation hood. american identity and this mushy globalism that lets a global elite prance around, offer these pretend solutions but impose real costs on working people. >> the republican party is -- >> this demonstrates strength on trump's part. and any time donald trump demonstrates strength, he wins. >> this republican party is an oil, coal-soaked party. the money -- the money -- the money driving through the republican party, coursing through it, i believe the republican party received 86% of all fuel oil and gas
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contributions. that's very important. because i think the predatory agenda of the american party -- and why are we surprised he pulled out? >> i want to jump in here. i think there is a real global leadership issue here. i understand that republicans are saying there is not. china has been sitting in the wings. wanting to build a relationship with the eu. wanting to be out here and say, look at us. we're going to build this coalition. we're going to be ahead. it's not just about climate change. it's about global leadership. when the united states steps back, other countries step in. that will have to be the last word. we have scott pruitt and al gore standing by on this. we'll hear from both sides in a moment. when you buy a used car you should feel confident. that's why carmax has over 40,000 cars to choose from nationwide. with prices clearly marked, the same online as they are in the stores. that should give you some car-buying confidence. the type of confidence you need to wear white after labor day. the type of confidence to suddenly switch to an
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i believe it goes up and it goes down and it goes up again. but i'm not a believer. we have much bigger problems. >> there was president trump in the presidential campaign. setting the stage for that dramatic decision this week to exit the paris climate accords. we're joined by scott pruitt this morning, his epa director. good morning. >> good morning, george. >> we just played those clips from the president back in 2015 during the campaign. is it fair to assume that that is still is the president's belief? >> the president made it clear that the climate changes. i think what needs to be emphasized is that our focus with respect to the paris accord was the efficacy of the agreement, how it impacts the environment and economy. the president said on thursday that engagement internationally is something that is going to continue. what paris represents is a bad deal for the country. as such, we need to exit. >> doesn't it matter whether or not the president believes there is manmade climate change?
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whether he believes it is a hoax? that is the predicate for the entire decision. >> with respect to the paris accord, the focus is on the merits of the deal and the demerits of the deal. the president indicated that engagement by this country internationally is going the to continue. we're part of the unfccc.unfccc we're at pre1994 levels today. we're there before the paris accord was ever executed by this country. and when you look at the years from 2000 to 2014, reduced co2 emissions by 18%. we're leading by example. as i indicated late last week and the president indicated as well, we're leading with action, not words. you look at paris, what was supposed to be achieved there,
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it was very little. it was criticized by the environmental left. james hansen. a nasa scientist called it a fake and a fraud. >> why can't the president say whether or not he believes in manmade climate change? you speak for the president. do you know what the president believes? >> frankly, george, i think the whole question is an effort to get it off the point of whether paris is good for the country or not. the president has indicated the climate changes. >> it depends on whether climate change is manmade. >> but george, george, what matters is what you do about it. what matters when you look at paris, china and india didn't take any steps while this country did. the environmental left has a very short memory. when paris was executed by the country, they criticized the agreement. said it didn't hold china and india accountable. and at the same time, we were we re deucing our co2 footprint substantially. >> i want to move on. very simply, do you -- do you know if president trump still
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believes that climate change is a hoax? >> our discussion, george, has been about the agreement. the efficacy of the agreement. that's what we spent the last several weeks focused upon, the merits and the demerits of the paris agreement. he put america first. he said he was going put jobs and the environment first. >> he received backlash from the business community. 25 businesses signed a letter to the president saying this is not going to be good. they said by expanding markets for innovative clean technologies, the agreement generates jobs and economic growth. the u.s. companies are well positioned to lead in these markets. withdrawing from the agreement will limit our access to them. and could expose us to retaliatory measures. they believe it will be bad for the economy to pull out. >> well, when you look -- "the new york times" had an article within the last couple of days talking about small business celebrating, euphoria, with respect to the president's decision. it's very speculative in my estimation, george, for those multinational companies to say this is going to somehow impact
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the exporting of green technology across the globe. what we do know -- what we do know, objectively, is that the paris agreement represented a $2.5 trillion reduction in our gross domestic product over ten years. what we do snow that it impacted up to 400,000 jobs. and so this was something that was bad for our government. it makes common sense. that when you take energy sector jobs and say, we're no longer going to produce energy in those sectors, it will affect the manufacturing base and jobs in the country. we have had over 50,000 coal jobs, mining jobs, since last quarter created in this country. almost 7,000 mining and coal jobs created in the month of may alone. the unemployment rate is 4.2%, as you know, george. this president's deregulation agenda is making a substantial impact on the jobs across the country and giving people hope. i will say this. it's rejecting the previous administration's view that you cannot grow jobs and protect the
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environment. because as i indicated earlier, we have reduced our co2 footprint from 2000 to 2014 by over 18%. through innovation and technology. >> the president suggested we could go farther. in reducing carbon emissions. here's what he said about the agreement. >> it is estimated, it would only produce a 0.2 of one degree. think of that. this much. celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100. tiny, tiny amount. >> the authors of the study, the president cited from m.i.t., dispute his interpretation. i want to take a different step. is the president saying he wants to get more carbon reduction than is called for in the agreement? >> i think what he's saying is the cost, that was going to be
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borne by this country, over $2.5 trillion of gross domestic product over ten years for a reduction of less than 0.2 of a degree by 2100 is a bad deal for the country. there were other studies by the way. i know that the m.i.t. study is something that people are pointing to. that that person has changed the review. the global policy the publication that came out near the same time. the heritage studies that focused on the economic impacts. what we do know is this. we know that the environmental left was as critical of paris as those on the right where. they thought it was a bad deal. as i indicated earlier, james hansen called it a fake and a fraud. there's very much short memory being applied here. >> mr. pruitt, thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you. and for more on this, we're now joined by al gore. the former vice president. the chairman of the climate reality project.
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also has a new film in theaters in july, an inconvenient sequel. mr. vice president, thank you for joining us this morning. you heard administrator pruitt. whether or not the president believes in manmade climate change doesn't matter. united states is leading by example. >> well, administrator pruitt has a difficult job. the administration comes off as tongue-tied and confused about the climate crisis because the truth is still inconvenient for the large carbon polluters. they don't want to stop the polluting of the atmosphere. it interferes with their business plan. but meanwhile, we're creating jobs in this country in the solar industry at a rate 17 times faster than other jobs. the number one fastest growing job is wind power technician. the renewable energy sector and the sustainability revolution are the brightest spot for
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economic growth and prosperity in this country. president trump isolated the united states with his reckless and indefensible decision. but if he won't lead, the american people will. we're seeing governors and mayors and business leaders step forward. >> does it make that much difference then if the united states pulled out of paris. president bush pulled out of kyoto. >> we lost a lot of time when the u.s. did not join the rest of the world community then. while it is true that we have the sustainability revolution under way, it's exciting. it has the magnitude of the industrial revolution but the speed of the digital revolution. but we're still not changing fast enough. it's not just the scientific community warning us now. it's mother nature. every night on the tv news is like a nature hike through the book of revelation. 70% of florida is in drought right now. missouri just declared an emergency with another one of
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these historic climate-related downpours. we have had 11 once-in-a-thousand-year downpours in the last ten years in the united states. it's good news that states and cities and businesses are. but we need presidential leadership. we're going to -- since he's not going to lead, the american people are stepping up. >> you lobbied the president on this. spoke with him in trump tower in december. spoke with him on the phone in may as well. what can you tell us about those exchanges and what the president unts about his issue and his approach? >> i have honored the commitment to keep those conversations private. i'll tell you nothing would surprise you about them. i presented all the reasons i felt and still feel it would be in the best interests of our country to stay in the paris agreement. but, the president made the wrong decision in my view. and in the view of most americans.
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you know, a majority in every one of our 50 states wanted the u.s. to stay in the agreement. a majority of president trump's supporters and voters wanted us to stay in. 70% of the american people. so, it was a -- reckless decision. but, the good news is, we are going to continue moving forward. it would be better if we could move faster. >> you talk about the majority of america. you believe the majority of. republicaning saying they believe in this and they want action. we have seen this whole idea that president trump expressed that manmade climate change is a hoax really take hold among a large sector of the public. how do you explain that? >> i don't think that's true among a large sector of the public. it's definitely true among a -- small sector. and, you know, in tennessee, we have a saying if you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be pretty sure it didn't get there by itself.
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similarly, if you see levels of climate denial in the u.s. that are not true anywhere else in the world, you can be pretty sure that didn't happen by itself. "the new york times" this morning traces it in part to the citizens united decision that opened the flood of dark money. a lot of it coming from the carbon polluters to try to use the playbook of the tobacco industry decades ago to try to submerge the truth and put out a false set of alternative facts. but the american people are beginning to see through this. the overwhelming majority already have. >> and finally, on the whole issue of how this affects our relationship with our allies. you saw the president come back from europe, meeting with the pope, with the french president. with angela merkel, the german president. all of them pressing him hard on this. can this issue be compartmentalized? will there be collateral damage with our allies? >> i'm afraid there will be.
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it comes in the context of the president also undermining nato and our relationship with our allies. we're going to face some challenges in the years ahead. the -- the isolation of america from the rest of the world is not in the interests of our country. the rest of the world is moving on climate. india just announced within 13 years, 100% of all their cars are going to be electric vehicles. china's reduced emissions four years in a row. we're seeing a massive shift to solar and wind. we in the united states ought to be leading this revolution. and creating more of the new good jobs here in the united states. >> mr. vice president. thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back.
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and now, we honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice. in the month of may, two service members died overseas in syria and somalia. we'll be
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that is all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. be sure to tune in thursday morning at 10:00 eastern. when i'll be anchoring our live coverage of former fbi director james comey's testimony in front of the bell jens committee. i'll see you tomorrow on "gma."
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bridge, west wind at 18. i'll have it all for you next the energy conscious whopeople among usle? say small actions can add up to something... humongous. a little thing here. a little thing there. starts to feel like a badge maybe millions can wear.
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who are all these caretakers, advocates too? turns out, it's californians it's me and it's you. don't stop now, it's easy to add to the routine. join energy upgrade california and do your thing.